E 21st St. crew crackdown - Brooklyn Paper

E 21st St. crew crackdown

Narcotics cops broke apart a widespread Flatbush drug ring with the apprehension of 12 members of the “East 21st Street Crew” this week.

Police said that eight of the suspects were rounded up and arrested near their drug-selling grounds on September 22. The other four were already in jail, said members of the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York, which took part in the investigation.

Officials allege that the East 21st Street Crew ran the crack trade from Foster Avenue to Dorchester Road and from Ocean Avenue to Flatbush Avenue and was responsible for some of the violence in the area %u2013 including a shooting inside an East 21st Street apartment on August 31.

In an ironic turn of events, the victim in the August 31 shooting, identified as Anthony “Chosen” Lawrence, was arrested with his East 21st Street Crew members last week.

Following up on community complaints, undercover investigators infiltrated the crew beginning in 2007, making undercover buys of quantities of crack ranging from two to 12 plastic packages %u2013 known as twists %u2013 to multiple grams of the highly addictive and deadly drug.

Investigators said that the 12 arrests stem from the 171 undercover sales that totaled $10,460 over the past 25-month investigation, which also led investigators to two other drug crews operating in East Flatbush as well as throughout the five boroughs and Long Island.

All told, 75 people have been arrested and indicted during the three operations.

A 29-year-old woman was lying in a hospital bed clinging to life this week after being struck by a 2008 Mercedes Benz on Nostrand Avenue.

Police said that the woman, whose name had not been released, was crossing Nostrand Avenue at Eastern Parkway at 8:12 p.m. on September 28 when she was struck.

She was immediately rushed to Kings County Hospital, where doctors listed her in critical condition.

Cops said that they took the operator of the Mercedes Benz into custody as they continued with their investigation.

No charges had been filed by late Monday, as this paper went to press.

A recent spate of robberies at the Parade Ground has police paying extra attention to the Flatbush green space.

Officials said that there have been six robberies %u2013 mostly phone snatches %u2013 at the area near Parade Place and Caton Avenue over the course of the summer, culminating with the robbery of a 17-year-old on August 31.

The teen said that he was nearing the corner that afternoon when he was attacked by three younger teens.

The suspects ran off with their victim’s wallet, but they didn’t get far.

Cops from the 70th Precinct took all three into custody after a brief search, officials said.

“We arrested this crew before school started, but we’re keeping an eye on the situation,” a high-ranking officer from the 70th Precinct said this week.

A 30-year-old NYPD police officer who patrols the streets of Bay Ridge was arrested in Mill Basin early Sunday following a booze-fueled accident that took the life of a 33-year-old woman.

Police allege that Vionique Valnord, a security guard from Rogers Avenue in East Flatbush, had just left a wedding and was hailing a cab on East 56th Street and Avenue N at 1:10 a.m. on September 27 when she was struck by a Jeep driven by Andrew Kelly.

Kelly, a seven-year member of the force, was one of many witnesses to render aid to the woman. His four passengers, including an off-duty cop from the 70th Precinct in Flatbush, reportedly left the scene before responding officers arrived.

Paramedics rushed Valnord to Kings County Hospital where the woman — the daughter of a minister who performed the wedding she had just attended — died of her injuries.

Responding officers arrested Kelly, who was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated. He was immediately suspended from the force and was later released from jail after making $200,000 bond.

Officials at the scene said that a cup of beer was in the car when the accident took place.

Kelly, they alleged, had been drinking a full two hours before the accident as he watched a football game at a friend’s house.

According to published reports, the other off-duty cop that was with Kelly at the time of the accident, who has been identified as Police Officer Michael Downs, has also been suspended from duty.

Downs allegedly didn’t tell his superiors what had happened until he showed up to work at 8 a.m. Sunday morning, officials said.

Four teenage thieves from East Flatbush who allegedly like to use their choppers as well as their fists and feet were arrested for leaving their marks %u2013 bite marks, that is %u2013 on a 13-year-old boy during a recent robbery.

The victim said that he was nearing Nostrand Avenue and Avenue Z in Sheepshead Bay just before 2 p.m. on September 23 when the thieves allegedly snatched the cell phone out of his hand.

They then punched, kicked and bit their victim, alleged police, who added that the victim was sporting bite marks to his right side of his back and his face when they arrived at the scene.

His alleged attackers, identified as 16-year-olds Stanley Similien, Oshane Rose, Jelani Bennett and 17-year-old Clifford Brown, were all rounded up after a brief search and charged with robbery, officials said.

A note-passing bandit responsible for knocking over a Chase Bank on Nostrand Avenue has been one busy boy, said police, who have linked the suspect to at least six other bank heists stretching back to late July.

Workers at the Nostrand Avenue Chase Bank near Empire Boulevard told police that the suspect, a 6’2”, 250-pound black male in his 40s sporting sunglasses and a bucket hat, entered the bank at 5:20 p.m. on September 3 and handed over a threatening note.

After the teller handed over some cash, the thief fled on foot, harming no one, said police, who added that this was the third time that Thursday that he had attempted to rob a bank.

Police said that the thief’s spree began back on July 24 at a Capital One Bank in Fort Greene.

Many of the burglaries have been in Fort Greene, Crown Heights and downtown Brooklyn.

His close proximity to Flatbush leads some to believe that he may be expanding his territory, officials said.

Anyone with information regarding this thief’s whereabouts is urged to come forward.

Calls can be made to the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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